You just opened the packaging to your brand-new Apple Watch — the gadget that has filled the dreams of many a tech lover over the last few months.
But if you have a wrist tattoo, your Apple Watch might not be able to work up to its full potential.
On Friday, May 1, the tech giant quietly announced that wrist tattoos tamper with the Apple Watch’s heart rate sensor after a number of people who bought the wearable complained about the problems between their wrist ink and the device.
“Permanent or temporary changes to your skin, such as some tattoos, can also impact heart rate sensor performance,” Apple wrote in a statement. “The ink, pattern and saturation of some tattoos can block light from the sensor, making it difficult to get reliable readings.”
For those with smaller wrist tattoos, the heart rate monitor will display frequent errors and inaccuracies. For users with full tattoo sleeves, the Apple Watch’s heart rate monitoring feature fails to work entirely, according to CNet. The Apple Watch was available to consumers for a full seven days before the company acknowledged the device’s problem with tattoos.
This news will likely alienate many tattoo enthusiasts and those who are working to get a tattoo education at a school for piercing and tattooing. Studies show that as many as one in five Americans now has a tattoo, a significant portion of the population, and demand for tattoo education is higher than ever.
Heart rate monitoring has been one of the most boasted-about features of the Apple Watch due to its ability to let users track their fitness and overall heart health.
For Apple Watch owners with tattoos, Apple has suggested that they use an external heart rate monitor — which sort of defeats the purpose of owning a smart watch. The company didn’t say whether it would work toward solving the issue in its watches.
What are your thoughts on this news? Should wearable technology force you to put some thought into your tattoos? Will the Apple Watch make you go to a tattoo removal school or shop? Let us know in the comments below. Links like this. Read more articles like this.